In April, the Chinese market exhibited a degree of volatility due to a confluence of factors but overall, maintained demand stability. Domestic Light Vehicle (LV) sales, excluding exports, surged to 1.8 million units, marking a 3.5% year-on-year (YoY) growth. Notably, Passenger Vehicle (PV) sales for the month increased by 4.2% YoY to 1.6 million units. Meanwhile, Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) sales totalled 233k units, with a minor YoY decline of 0.8%. However, a pronounced wait-and-see sentiment emerged in the market, influenced by the ongoing price war, and led to a 13.7% month-on-month (MoM) decrease in PV sales. LCV sales also saw a significant MoM drop of 18.8%. Amidst this price competition, traditional fuel (ICE) vehicles are reaching their price-cutting limits, while the market share of new energy vehicles (NEVs) is expanding rapidly. This shift is prompting some consumers to delay purchases, thereby dampening the potential for sales growth. The wait-and-see sentiment led to a 13.7% MoM decrease in PV sales while the LCV sector also saw a significant MoM drop of 18.8%. From January to April 2024, cumulative domestic LV sales reached 7.2 million units, reflecting a 4.8% YoY increase. PV specifically achieved 6.3 million units, with a 5.5% YoY growth. LCV sales were over 800k units from January to April 2024, showing a slight 0.4% YoY growth.

US sales

US LV sales totaled 1.44 million units in May, according to GlobalData. The annualized selling rate was 16.1 million units/year in May, up from 15.9 million units/year in April. The daily selling rate was estimated at 55.6k units/day in May, compared to 53.1k units/day in April. Both the annualized rate and the daily selling rate were the best for the year to date, but neither were as strong as December 2023. According to initial estimates, retail sales totaled 1.18 million units in May, while fleet sales finished at approximately 268k units, representing around 18.6% of total sales.

EV incentives vanish

In a guest comment, Sheena Patel from Vendigital considers the lack of consumer incentives for the switch to BEVs in the UK. The latest new car sales data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), shows that despite sales of new BEVs increasing strongly overall in April 2024, private retail demand has fallen significantly – down 22% year-on-year. In April 2024, fewer than one in six new BEVs were sold to consumers and the overall reduction in retail consumer demand is a growing concern for Britain’s expanding EV industry.

EV battery management

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Time to market, exceeding customer expectations and staying at the forefront of rapidly developing technology in BEVs are very much at the front of OEMs’ corporate strategic minds. It’s quite the challenge. Software company, Breathe Battery Technologies (Breathe), has developed a battery management platform to optimise and improve the performance of charging technology. By using its algorithm-based charging software on new generation EVs, it claims the technology can improve charge times, performance and overall EV driving experience. The company has recently partnered with Geely-owned Volvo Cars, implementing the technology into the latest models. Breathe expects that its technology will reduce the time it takes to charge an electric Volvo from 10 to 80 percent charging state by as much as 30 percent, while maintaining the same energy density and range. We spoke with Ian Campbell, CEO, Breathe, to learn more about the technology and partnership with Volvo Cars.

You gotta pick a part or two

Renault Group has opened a new logistics facility in Villeroy which is 100% automated and equipped with a system from Exotec, the French industrial robotics company. This collaboration was said to be a world first for a car manufacturer. Skypod robots facilitate the work of operators by picking items at height thereby eliminating the risk of falling. The time it takes to prepare parts orders is thus divided by six and the surface of the storage area on the site is reduced. Exotec’s logistics system is distinguished by its flexibility and adaptability to changing production needs and is able to adjust in real time with the addition of storage modules, robots or the modification of conveyors.

New Horse motor

Powertrains systems maker Horse – the Renault Geely JV – has started the manufacturing and assembly of its 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder gasoline engine (HR12) at its plant in Mioveni, Romania. The firm says it is the most efficient engine among its Horse product portfolio, and the most powerful produced at Horse Romania, with the HR12 used in several vehicles including hybrids. The beginning of production in Mioveni supplements Horse’s global capacity for the HR12 engine, with engines produced in Romania to be installed in new Dacia Duster models. The Horse Valladolid factory in Spain will continue to produce the engine for the Renault Austral and Espace models.

Fiat 500 hybrid coming

Stellantis confirmed earlier reports that it will build a hybrid version of the Fiat 500 in Italy. The move reflects slower than expected sales of the all-electric 500 model made at the Mirafiori plant. Olivier Francois, Fiat brand CEO and global Stellantis Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), emphasized the strategic role of the Fiat Miraifiori plant in Turin, as well as Italy’s importance to the brand. The historic Mirafiori plant will be the production site of the new Fiat 500 Ibrida, a new made-in-Italy hybrid model set to be released between late 2025 and early 2026.

New Hyundai Europe EV

Hyundai plans to launch production of a battery powered version of its Staria minibus in Europe in early 2026, according to local reports citing local industry sources. The automaker anticipated demand for battery powered vehicles to grow strongly in Europe once Euro 7 standards were introduced in July 2025, as well as markets in Asia-Pacific such as Thailand and Indonesia plus Australia. The company aimed to sell between 15,000 and 20,000 Staria EVs per year. Earlier this year, Hyundai unveiled the ST1 (Service Type 1), a new dedicated battery electric vehicle (BEV) platform for light commercial vehicles targeting the general purpose local delivery market.

Return for Sander

Martin Sander has been named the new board member for sales, marketing and after sales at Volkswagen Passenger Cars, effective 1 July. He replaces Imelda Labbe who is retiring after two years in the role. Sander is moving from Ford to Wolfsburg and will report directly to Volkswagen CEO Thomas Schaefer. Sander was most recently chairman of the management board of Ford-Werke and general manager Model e for Ford of Europe.

Kia Slovakia milestone

Kia’s Slovakian plant has hit five million units of output in the twenty years it has been operational. Of the five million vehicles produced in Teplicka nad Vahom, Žilina, more than 2.5 million are Sportage models, which have been produced in Kia Slovakia since the second generation. It is closely followed by Ceed models, of which more than 2.1 million have been produced. Kia Slovakia currently produces nearly 1,500 Ceed and Sportage vehicles per day, which are transported by train and truck to customers. In recent years, the main export countries for Kia Slovakia remain Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, and Spain.

Third Nio factory

Chinese smart EV maker Nio has received government approval to build a third factory in the country, Reuters reports, citing sources familiar with the matter. The factory would boost its total approved annual production capacity to 1 million cars, bringing it close to Tesla’s Shanghai facility – its largest plant globally – which has production capacity of around 1.1 million vehicles per year. The new plant, dubbed ‘F3’ will have a 100,000 unit annual capacity on a one-shift basis, though the firm received approval for 600,000 unit capacity. It did not answer the news agency’s questions of whether F3 would be expanded to accommodate 600,000 units.

Have a nice weekend.

Graeme Roberts, Deputy Editor, Just Auto